The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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The Social Ladder: Your baby can wave bye-bye, clap his hands and point to things he wants. Separation anxiety is common because he understands object permanence: You (or an object) still exist even when out of his sight, Amzel explains. He also may display a fear of strangers.
The Gift of Gab: At 9 months, the baby will say consonant-vowel strings (“ba ba” or “da da”) or vowel-consonant strings (“ab ab”); these also are known as babbling. He follows simple verbal direction, such as “Get the toy” or “Press the button” when it’s accompanied by a gesture. At 10 months, he babbles with intonation; this sounds like talking, Roth says, but there are no real words. At about 12 months, he begins to say things like “baba” for bottle or “wawa” for water.
Physical Feats: By 8 months, he can use his hands separately and pick up objects with his thumb and index finger, which means he can feed himself. He also may be crawling. But many babies, especially those who sleep on their backs, don’t crawl until 9 or 10 months, and some go straight from sitting to walking without crawling, Amzel says; this is normal. At 8 or 9 months, he can pull himself up to standing; by 10 or 11 months, he may start “cruising” (walking sideways while holding onto furniture). By 12 months, many babies walk unassisted.
Age-Appropriate Activities: Play more interactive games, such as patty-cake and peekaboo. Spend a lot of time with him talking, labeling objects, reading books and naming pictures on a page. Says Roth: Respond to your baby’s jabbering with “Is that so?” or “That’s interesting.” Provide lots of safe space for crawling and cruising.
Causes for Concern: By 12 months, he isn’t saying “mama,” “dada” or “baba”; doesn’t look for a toy as you drop it; or isn’t standing up, clapping or waving bye-bye.